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The Sound of Gravity

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Skip Lievsay on the Sound of Gravity

The sound of Gravity is a crucial element of the film and in this Soundworks video director Alfonso Cuaron and Re-recording Mixer Skip Lievsay discuss how they (and the sound teams) created the dramatic soundscape of outer space.

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of Gravity from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Gravity opens in the UK on November 8th

> Official site
> LFF 2013 review

Written by Ambrose Heron

October 14th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

John Landis on The Talking Room

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John Landis on The Talking Room

The director John Landis recently sat down with Adam Savage of the Talking Room to discuss his life and career.

Over the course of an hour they discuss:

  • His break as a production assistant on Kelly’s Heroes (1978)
  • Working on Spaghetti Westerns in Spain
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  • Animal House (1978)
  • Three Amigos (1987)
  • Make-up maestro Rick Baker
  • Meeting Stanley Kubrick
  • Paul McCartney’s song for Spies Like Us (1985)
  • Changes to the movie business

> John Landis at the IMDb
> Tested

Written by Ambrose Heron

September 3rd, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Directors,Interesting

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The March (1963)

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MLK at March on Washington

To mark the 50th anniversary of the The March for Jobs and Freedom, the US National Archives have posted a digitally restored version of James Blue’s famous documentary.

You can watch it here:

> Find more about the US Civil Rights Movement at Wikipedia
> Civil Rights Roundtable 1963 involving Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte and Marlon Brando

Written by Ambrose Heron

August 28th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

The Future of Movies (1990)

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The Future of Movies in 1990

Back in 1990 the late Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel hosted a TV special which featured directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese discussing the future of movies.

Spielberg and Lucas made headlines earlier this summer by predicting the implosion of Hollywood’s current economic model, but what did they feel 23 years ago?

The answer lies in this programme – recently discovered by Cinephilia and Beyond – where they not only discuss the future of movies but also their careers and a good deal else beside, including:

  • The possibility of a sequel to E.T. (1982)
  • Spielberg’s interest in a Howard Hughes project
  • Lucas on the Star Wars prequels
  • Scorsese on Goodfellas (1990) and commercial success
  • The sex scene in Don’t Look Now (1973)
  • HD television
  • Film preservation

You can watch the full programme here (along with the fast-forwarded ads):

> RogerEbert.com
> Find out about 1990 on film at Wikipedia

Written by Ambrose Heron

August 21st, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Writing With Light

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Writing With Light

A 1992 documentary about cinematographer Vittorio Storaro provides a fascinating insight into his working life.

Best known for his work with Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola and Warren Beatty, he is one of the greatest of his era.

This 55 minute programme features interviews with the man himself and his collaborators, interspersed with footage of him working on several films.

Amongst other things it features him talking about:

  • The qualities of magic hour
  • His Oscar wins
  • The Conformist (1970)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • His theory of colour
  • One from the Heart (1982)
  • Dick Tracy (1990)
  • The Sheltering Sky (1990)
  • His use of hi-def video in 1983
  • Imago Urbis (1992)

> Official website
> Vittorio Storaro at the IMDb
> More posts on cinematography

Written by Ambrose Heron

August 8th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

The (Extended) Making of The Shining

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Extended Staircases to Nowhere

The full version of The Elstree Project‘s documentary about The Shining is now available online.

Stanley Kubrick’s famous horror was originally documented in a 17 minute short film, as part of the project designed to document the famous studios of Elstree and Borehamwood.

But now they have released a much longer version lasting 55 minutes with contributions from:

  • Brian Cook – 1st AD
  • Jan Harlan – Producer
  • Christiane Kubrick – Wife of Stanley Kubrick
  • Mick Mason – Camera Technician
  • Ray Merrin – Post-Production Sound
  • Doug Milsome – 1st AC and Second Unit Camera
  • Kelvin Pike – Camera Operator
  • Ron Punter – Scenic Artist
  • June Randall – Continuity
  • Julian Senior – Warner Bros. Publicity

They discuss many aspects of the film including the 2nd Unit footage shot in America, the different stages at Elstree, the use of Steadicam, the fire on set, and what Kubrick was like to work with.

> The Elstree Project
> Buy The Stanley Kubrick Boxset from Amazon UK
> Previous Stanley Kubrick Posts

Written by Ambrose Heron

July 29th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Gordon Willis Craft Truck Interview

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Gordon Willis on Cinematography

Legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis recently sat down with Craft Truck for a lengthy interview about his career.

In the first video he discusses his work on such films as The Godfather (1972), Klute (1971), Manhattan (1979) and Annie Hall (1977).

Plus, he also talks about his thoughts on editing, the importance of simplicity and ‘dump truck directing’.

In the second, he talks about Stardust Memories (1980), The Godfather II (1974), lenses, Francis Ford Coppola, All the President’s Men (1976), Interiors (1978) and The Devil’s Own (1997).

> Find out more about Gordon Willis at Wikipedia
> Craft Truck

Written by Ambrose Heron

July 25th, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Interesting

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Operation Dirty Dozen

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Operation Dirty Dozen

An old behind-the-scenes featurette for The Dirty Dozen offers a glimpse in how movies were marketed in a bygone era.

Long before DVDs, the internet and viral marketing, there were making of featurettes which were used to plug forthcoming films.

In a sense they were like short films, using B-roll footage and scripted voice-overs to describe the stars and production.

They seem like a long way from how movies are pushed to audiences now, with fans at Comic-Con lapping up news of projects yet to be made.

The Dirty Dozen remains one of the ultimate ‘guys on a mission’ film, a huge hit in 1967 that spawned numerous imitators such as Kelly’s Heroes (1970) and was a big influence on Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Below you can see Lee Marvin filming the opening sequence and also grooving in 1960s London, along with Donald Sutherland, John Cassavetes and Jim Brown.

N.B. Aldbury was the location of the first school I ever went to.

> The Dirty Dozen at Wikipedia
> The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Written by Ambrose Heron

July 22nd, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Ridley Scott Omnibus

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Ridley Scott on Omnibus in 1992

Director Ridley Scott was the subject of BBC arts programme Omnibus in 1992.

Titled Eye of the Storm, it was first shown on UK television around the release of 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992).

Although there is a certain irony that Scott’s career suffered a dip soon after (until his renaissance with Gladiator in 2000), it is a solid profile filled with various collaborators, including David Carradine, Sigourney Weaver, Mimi Rogers, Michael Douglas and his two sons Jake and Luke.

Amongst the things discussed are:

> More on Ridley Scott at Wikipedia
> Sundance Labs interview with Ridley Scott from 2002

Written by Ambrose Heron

July 18th, 2013 at 12:38 am

Posted in Directors,Interesting

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William Goldman WGF Interview

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William Goldman Interview

In 2010, screenwriter William Goldman sat down with the Writers Guild Foundation for a lengthy chat.

Famous for writing such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Marathon Man (1976), All the President’s Men (1976) and The Princess Bride (1987).

He’s also known for coining the phrase ‘nobody knows anything’ and his two books about his experiences in Hollywood, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1982) and Which Lie Did I Tell? (2000), are essential reading.

Amongst other things, he talks about:

  • His first screenplay
  • The changes in the business since the 1960s
  • His background and early life
  • Military service
  • Getting his first novel was published
  • His early education in movies
  • The importance of Cliff Robertson to his career
  • Differences between the Hollywood of yesteryear and today
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • His time at Princeton
  • The Great Waldo Pepper
  • Why he never wanted to direct
  • The one film he regrets not writing
  • Marathon Man (1976)
  • Agents
  • His time in the ‘wilderness’
  • The pirate movie he wrote that never got made
  • Working with Clint Eastwood

Watch the full 93 minute interview here:

> Buy Adventures in the Screen Trade and Which Lie Did I Tell? at Amazon UK
> William Goldman at the IMDb
> Writers Guild Foundation

Written by Ambrose Heron

July 1st, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Interesting

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